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Haunted Milwaukee

The ghosts (and costumes) come out at Halloween

Oct. 15, 2013
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Looking for some spooky treats? Perhaps the typical haunted house or a friend’s annual Halloween shindig can’t send the same shivers they once did? Milwaukee has some wonderfully weird events to explore for the first celebration of the holiday season.

Allison Jornlin of milwaukeeghosts.com is throwing the Moonshine & Mayhem Party on Saturday, Oct. 26, 6-9 p.m., at the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear (839 N. 11th St.). “I will share ghost stories from Milwaukee’s most haunted public locations. My friends at Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee will be joining me afterwards to present evidence collected on investigations and to demonstrate equipment,” she says. “The event will also be a great opportunity for members of the public to share their stories for possible inclusion in my book, Haunted Milwaukee: 101 Public Haunts You Can Visit, slated for publication next fall.” 

Moonshine & Mayhem offers cocktails and appetizers along with ghost stories. Admission is $20. Costumes are encouraged. RSVP at info@chudnowmuseum.org or 414-273-1680.

For a chance to burn off some of those scary beer calories, try the Lowlander Cycling Club’s Fourth Annual Halloween Costume Crawl. The fundraiser for the Wisconsin Bike Federation will be held Oct. 26, beginning at 9 a.m. at Café Hollander (2608 N. Downer Ave.). The costumed bike ride will stop at five additional locations: Lakefront Brewery, Café Centraal, Great Lakes Distillery, Trocadero and Nomad World Pub. There will be games, contests and raffles along the way, plus a grand prize bike giveaway at the end of the ride.

Riverwest’s Dominion Gallery (804 E. Wright St.) specializes in the gothic and the macabre. On Oct. 26, 30 and 31, Dominion will host 10-minute tarot readings by proprietor (and longtime punk rock singer) Stonie Rivera and others, along with discussions of the paranormal and holiday-appropriate treats. Rivera is especially keen on Samhain, the ancient Celtic celebration corresponding to Halloween. For more info, check out dominion-gallery.com

Speaking of Samhain, the UW-Milwaukee Celtic Studies Center presents its annual observation of the holiday on Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Hefter Conference Center (3271 N. Lake Drive). For more information, go to uwm.edu/celtic.

Mexico’s colorful rendition of All Souls Day, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), is traditionally celebrated with sugar skulls and visits to the graves of ancestors with gifts of food. In Milwaukee, the Day of the Dead has become an opportunity to explore the traditional folk arts of Mexico. At the Latino Arts Gallery (1028 S. Ninth St.), the “Day of the Dead Ofrendas” exhibition is focused on artist-designed altars (ofrendas), reflecting the lives of departed loved ones. The exhibit opens with a reception, 5-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 and runs through Nov. 22. There will be a 7:30 p.m. concert by alternative Latin band Las Cafeteras. For more details, visit latinoartsinc.org.

Day of the Dead will also be marked at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (839 S. Fifth St.), where the 21st Annual Día de los Muertos exhibition will run Oct. 18-Nov. 16. Not to be missed is the annual Day of the Dead parade on Friday, Nov. 1, starting at Walker Square Park (1028 S. Ninth St.) at 5 p.m., followed by a performance by Ballet Folklorico and capped with a 7 p.m. vigil for peace. For more information, go to wpca-milwaukee.org.

And the chills continue: Mary Shelley’s deathless novel, Frankenstein, will be adapted by Chicago performance art company 500 Clown at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, located in South Milwaukee High School (901 15th Ave., South Milwaukee). For information, go to southmilwaukeepac.org.

Milwaukee Country Parks presents a hike among the jack-o-lanterns, “Halloween Haunts: A Trek into the Enchanted Forest” from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Oct. 17-19, at Wehr Nature Center (9701 W. College Ave.).

Milwaukee will be crawling with costumed revelers on the weekend before Halloween, but if you think your get-up is scary, try winning the $500 prize for best costume at Rumor Upbeat Lounge (161 S. First St.). The party begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26; $5 cover.


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